fondue recipes, anyone?

Lillith Fair is having a fondue party next week…we are going to watch the entire five-hour A&E version of Pride and Prejudice, and have cheese fondue, a meat fondue and chocolate fondue. So I could use a little Doper fondue expertise, especially in the meat fondue area. What type of oil is best, ideas for dipping sauces, that kind of thing. I’ve dragged out my cookbooks and checked websites, but you guys always give the best recipes. And a question about the chocolate fondue…what type of chocolate works best? I’d prefer dark chocolate myself, but there are other people involved. Any practical preparation tips at all would be appreciated.

For an oil fondue, I prefer peanut oil. Corn oil has too strong a flavor for me. Do not overfill the pot; just under halfway is fine. Too much food in the pot can cool it down considerably, so try to limit people to two forks each. If you like curry, a simple dip of mayonnaise mixed with sweet curry powder and a little salt is good with nearly everything. A peanut sauce made with peanut butter, soy sauce, a little warm water (to make the PB less viscous) and a splash of hot sauce, is good with chicken. Make sure you cut the meat in small enough pieces to cook quickly. If you make meatballs, make sure they are small enough so they aren’t charred on the outside and raw inside.

I’m assuming you don’t need a recipe for the cheese fondue? Cut up apple chunks are a good alternative to the usual French bread. I also like to toast some sesame and poppy seeds. After a dunk in the cheese, a light dip in the seeds adds an interesting texture and flavor.

To help keep your cheese fondue from separating (a broken sauce, essentially), add a TBSP of lemon juice to the wine (use a dry white) just as it starts to send up bubbles; dredge the cheese with a couple of tablespoons of flour, add by handfuls, stirring continually. Add your kirsch or brandy, nutmeg, pepper, etc. at the end.

Yes peanut oil as long as there are no penut alergic people in your group. It has no peanut taste so don’t worry if someone just doesnt like peanuts.
You might want to make up some aioli or Bearnaise to go with the meat and crudites.

I prefer broths to oil - can’t stand the stink it leaves in your house. You’ll smell your fondue for days to come.

For our last chocolate fondue party (we got an electric fondue pot for Christmas, yay!), we used this recipe for “Cloud Nine Chocolate Fondue”. It was probably our best to date. As for what chocolate to use, just use chocolate chips of a quality brand name. The recipe calls for semi-sweet, but we used milk chocolate chips; you can use bittersweet if you want, but that may not be to everyone’s taste. And definitely use the almond extract instead of vanilla; that stuff makes the fondue. Such good flavor. Mmm.

As for preparation: we usually combine everything in a glass bowl set on top of a saucepan full of water, on a burner set to a simmer. Don’t rush it, let it melt gently, and stir often to keep the heat even. Then we transfer the melted mixture to the warmed fondue pot. The electric pot is a godsend, because we’ve had a hell of a time keeping chocolate fondue from burning in flame-based fondue pots (and ruining the pots in the process).

Someone else is preparing the cheese fondue, but please share anyhow!
Such good hints so far…I like the apples in the cheese idea.

if you’re not absolutely tied to chocolate - this is my favorite fondue Caramel Cognac Fondue.

It’s wonderful. The times are wrong (it takes much longer to cook down than they claim) but it’s very worth it in the end.

First, in answer to EuroMDguy: put a lid on the oil pot as soon as people are done eating. Do not remove until the oil is completely cooled, then dispose of in an empty milk carton or something. This really helps reduce the odors.

Cheese Fondue

12 oz or so of Emmenthaler or other quality Swiss cheese, grated
6 oz or so of gruyere cheese, cut in small pieces
3 TBSP flour
1 clove garlic, halved
1-1 and a half cups dry white wine (medium to good quality)
1 TBSP lemon juice
A glurg of kirsch or cognac or brandy
Grated nutmeg and white pepper to taste
Crunchy French loaf cut into bite-sized pieces (a piece of crust should be on each piece)

Dredge the grated cheeses in the flour. Rub the inside of the fondue pot with the garlic and discard (the garlic, not the pot). Add the wine to the pot and turn the heat to simmer. As bubbles start to form and rise, add the lemon juice. Begin adding the cheese by handfuls, stirring until melted before adding more. Do not let the fondue boil. When all the cheese has been added, if the fondue appears too thick, you can add some additional warmed wine about 1/4 cup at a time. Add a shot of the liquor and the pepper and stir until incorporated. Dust with nutmeg. Spear the bread from the soft side, penetrating the crust on the other side, swirl in the cheese until coated and hot.

This recipe has worked unfailingly for me (unless the cheese was crap) for over 30 years. To those who sneer at fondue, I say pffft!

Thanks for the recipe, it sounds wonderful. I especially like the bread-spearing instructions. It’s the little details that are why I love this place!

You’re welcome. It helps keep the bread from falling off. However, there is a tradition that if your bread falls off into the pot, you have to kiss someone, so you’ve got that going for you…

Do you find letting the bread get a little stale (a day old for French bread) actually helps? I find if the bread is too soft its texture doesn’t contrast the fondue, and doesn’t seem to pick up the cheese so well.

I much prefer grape seed oil to peanut oil. More subtle, gentle flavor. Oh, that and I’m allergic to peanuts :wink:

You can also toss in a few sprigs of your favorite herbs in the oil. :slight_smile:

This one is supposed to be similar to the one served at the Melting Pot restaraunts. It’s a broth for cooking meats/veggies in:

Coq Au Vin fondue

3 ½ cups vegetable stock
½ cup Burgundy wine
½ cup sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon, garlic, minced
2 green onions, sliced

Method: Heat vegetable stock in fondue pot until it begins to simmer. Add all other ingredients, bring to simmer.

This one is actually from the Melting Pot. It has been published in several of our local newspapers, as part of an article about the restaurant:

The Melting Pot’s Spinach and Artichoke Swiss Cheese Fondue
1/4 cup chopped spinach (Thawed frozen spinach works well.)
1/4 cup chopped artichoke hearts
1/2 cup bouillon-base broth (chicken or vegetable)
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
2 cups Grùyere and Emmeanthaler cheese, shredded
3 tablespoons flour or corn starch
1 Granny Smith apple, cubed
One cup vegetables, such as cauliflower, baby carrots, and celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
Crusty bread such as pumpernickel, rye or French- about 1/4 to 1/2 loaf, in 1-inch pieces
Tabasco sauce
Fondue pot or double boiler, fondue forks
Combine chopped spinach and artichoke hearts. Put shredded Gruyere and Emmeanthaler in a Ziplock bag. Add flour or corn starch and shake well to coat cheese.
Assemble ingredients in individual bowls and place on table. Turn burner of fondue pot on high and wait for it to start steaming. Add broth and garlic. Once broth is hot, add cheese using tongs. With tongs holding edge of fondue pot for safety, stir constantly with a spoon until cheese is smooth and fluffy and the consistency is a little thinner than that of warm honey. Stir in spinach and artichoke-heart mixture. Add grated parmesan cheese and a few shakes of Tabasco sauce to finish.
With fondue forks, dip bread, vegetables and apple into the cheese fondue and eat.
Serves 2
1/4 cup chopped spinach (Thawed frozen spinach works well.)
1/4 cup chopped artichoke hearts
1/2 cup bouillon-base broth (chicken or vegetable)
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
2 cups Grùyere and Emmeanthaler cheese, shredded
3 tablespoons flour or corn starch
1 Granny Smith apple, cubed
One cup vegetables, such as cauliflower, baby carrots, and celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
Crusty bread such as pumpernickel, rye or French- about 1/4 to 1/2 loaf, in 1-inch pieces
Tabasco sauce
Fondue pot or double boiler, fondue forks
Combine chopped spinach and artichoke hearts. Put shredded Gruyere and Emmeanthaler in a Ziplock bag. Add flour or corn starch and shake well to coat cheese.
Assemble ingredients in individual bowls and place on table. Turn burner of fondue pot on high and wait for it to start steaming. Add broth and garlic. Once broth is hot, add cheese using tongs. With tongs holding edge of fondue pot for safety, stir constantly with a spoon until cheese is smooth and fluffy and the consistency is a little thinner than that of warm honey. Stir in spinach and artichoke-heart mixture. Add grated parmesan cheese and a few shakes of Tabasco sauce to finish.
With fondue forks, dip bread, vegetables and apple into the cheese fondue and eat.
Serves 2

OK, that’s it for me! Time to re-visit The Melting Pot at Station Square in Pittsburgh.

Dang you anyway!

Jeez, don’t go to the Melting Pot. The prices are absolutely obscene. For what you pay for two, you could buy a fondue set and the supplies to eat the same meal four times over.

The ads below are offering a $500 gift card to The Melting Pot…since most ads like that offer a $50 gift card (to say, Applebee’s) does that mean their prices are extraordinarily high? And As for the kiss comment above? That seems like a nice tradition, Chefguy but this party is all straight, middle-aged women, so I guess we’ll forego that!

Now you’re just trying to turn me on.

Pure, Velvety, Liquid Satan

2 chocolate oranges (the whack-and-unwrap kind), 350 grams total.
1/2 cup heavy cream.
1 Tbsp. Grand Marnier, or to taste. (Since the hubby doesn’t like spirits, in our house, this means “none.”)

Melt ingredients carefully on the stovetop (use a double-boiler if you’re extra cautious) and transfer to a fondue pot over very low heat. To dip: Jumbo marshmallows, angel food cake torn into small pieces, mandarin orange segments, strawberries. (Fresh strawberries in winter suck; thaw some frozen ones. They kind look ugly, but taste just fine.)